Matthew was in a 9 year relationship until he broke up the relationship on the 7th October 2010. One month prior to ending the relationship his ex-girlfriend moved out of the apartment they were sharing.
Matthew was in a volatile relationship but worked hard to save it until he decided in October 2010 that it would be best for them both to part ways. Matthew took an amicable approach with the break up. On one evening Matthew was followed by his ex-girlfriend where she saw Matthew kissing another girl. This girl Matthew had a brief ‘fling’ with was married to an Irishman living in Mannheim. The Irish community is a close knit community, and it is understood that this Irishman was informed about the ‘fling’ and was harassing Matthew.
Week leading up to Matthew’s death
- Six days before Matthew died his ex-girlfriend moved back in to the apartment unexpectedly; without prior knowledge and agreement from Matthew.
- On Friday 10th December 2010 Matthew went out for a meal, during this time he sent two text messages to a possible friend stating where he was and who he was with – he was with his ex-girlfriend.
- At approximately 11:50pm on that Friday night, Matthew text his ex-girlfriend stating that he wanted his key back.
- On the night/morning of Matthew’s death the neighbours within the apartment complex heard noises and voices from the apartment Matthew stayed in. They heard Matthew’s ex-girlfriend crying, 2 other unidentified voices and also heard what they call ‘dull thuds’. They knew that there was an altercation going on in the apartment.
- Matthew was found dead in his apartment on Saturday morning 11th December 2010 – 2 days before his planned trip back to Ireland for the Christmas period
- His ex-girlfriend alleged that Matthew was hanging from the top of the door (initially she stated that he was hanging from a door handle and later changed this). However, medics in the apartment stated that the Livor Mortis formed on Matthew’s body is consistent with being found dead lying on the back. This makes it impossible that Matthew could ever have been found hanging.
In addition, the first person at the scene was a neighbour who stated that Matthew’s ex-girlfriend had a knife in her hand and said that Matthew’s death was her fault. It is understood that she then took anti-depressants and tried to jump from a 2nd story balcony in an attempt to kill herself.
Over the last 3 years we know that Matthew transferred over €37,000 to his ex-girlfriends account, financing her lifestyle, in addition to this Matthew told us that he paid off a loan his ex-girlfriend had. When Matthew ended the relationship he also ended the financing.
Matthew’s family were notified of Matthew’s death on the 12th December 2010 at approximately 7:00pm, a full 36 hours after his death. We were informed by Matthew’s ex-girlfriend’s family. To this day Matthew’s parents have not been contacted by any German authority.
Two of Matthew’s brother travelled to Mannheim on the 13th December 2010 – Danny and Patrick. While in Mannheim they were never assigned a police liaison officer and were only given a 50 minute meeting with the Mannheim police to discuss Matthew. The Mannheim police had already formed their opinion that Matthew’s death was self-inflicted.
There were two autopsies carried out on Matthew: first one in Mannheim on the 15th December 2010; the second in Dublin on the 18th December 2010. There are major differences between both. It is apparent that the autopsy carried out in Mannheim was not forensic enough. The autopsy carried out in Dublin detailed significant injuries to Matthew’s body, specifically:
A blunt force trauma to the back of Matthew’s head
- Abraded contusion measuring 7.5cm in dimension.
- Crescent shape 2 to 8 o’clock direction.
- Inferior to injury is purple reddish contusion rectangle shape.
- Internal examination of the scalp shows tissue swelling and hemorrhage.
Injury could have happened as a result of the action of a third party. A person could suffer a concussion if hit on the head with a force that is potentially able to leave similar marks on the head. This would give enough time for a third party to carry out an act of ligature strangulation while the victim is transitory unconscious.
The German autopsy report does not refer to this injury. The Irish Deputy State Pathologist confirmed it is possible for a person to cause the injury to the back of Matthew’s head and while he is unconscious to carry out ligature strangulation.
Numerous contusions and abrasions to Matthew’s face and body
- Lower part of left leg 0.5 and 1.5cm
- Upper left thigh 4.5 x 2.5cm
- Left hip – 5cm
- 3 bruises on elbow measuring 6.5 x 3.5cm
- Left axilla (armpit) 4.5 x 2.0cm
- Right axilla (armpit) 4.5 x 2.0cm
- Palm of right hand 2 red parallel marks 2.8 x 0.3cm each
- Right eyebrow 1.5cm in greatest dimension
- Left buttock purple contusion 2.5 x 0.7cm
Abrasions (cuts) :
- Left wrist 0.7 x 0.5cm
- Left forearm 0.4 x 0.4cm
- Lower part of right leg 2.6 x 0.6cm
- Right foot measuring 1.0cm in greatest dimension
- Right forearm linear abrasion (scratch) 5.0 x 0.1cm
- Right forearm 0.4 x 0.4cm
- Left upper eyelid 0.6 x 0.4cm
- Right side of nose 0.6 x 0.1cm
Extensive hemorrhaging on back of trunk. It is possible that this could have been caused by;
a) blunt force trauma,
b) someone kneeling on him while applying forceful ligature strangulation and
c) is also associated in drowning circumstances
Significant neck injuries
- due to strangulation, which ultimately lead to his death.
- Posterior of neck – markings not associated with a specific pattern.
- Also, microscopic fracture to neckbone associated with forceful ligature strangulation.